Rajasthan
Overview
 
Rājasthān the land of Rajasthanis
Rajasthani people
Rajasthani people are the native inhabitants of Rajasthan region of India. They form an ethnic group which is a result of assimilation of Scytho-Dravidian, Aryo-Dravidian, Indo-Aryan, Indo-Scythian, Indo-Greeks, Indo-Iranians and Austro-Asiatic ancestries...

, ("the land of kings" or "the land of colours"), is the largest state
States and territories of India
India is a federal union of states comprising twenty-eight states and seven union territories. The states and territories are further subdivided into districts and so on.-List of states and territories:...

 of the Republic of India by area. It is located in the northwest of India. It encompasses most of the area of the large, inhospitable Great Indian Desert (Thar Desert
Thar Desert
The Thar Desert |Punjab]] province. The Cholistan Desert adjoins the Thar desert spreading into Pakistani Punjab province.-Location and description:...

), which has an edge paralleling the Sutlej
Sutlej
The Sutlej River is the longest of the five rivers that flow through the historic crossroad region of Punjab in northern India and Pakistan. It is located north of the Vindhya Range, south of the Hindu Kush segment of the Himalayas, and east of the Central Sulaiman Range in Pakistan.The Sutlej...

-Indus river valley along its border with Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

. The state is bordered by Pakistan to the west, Gujarat to the southwest, Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh , often called the Heart of India, is a state in central India. Its capital is Bhopal and Indore is the largest city....

 to the southeast, Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh abbreviation U.P. , is a state located in the northern part of India. With a population of over 200 million people, it is India's most populous state, as well as the world's most populous sub-national entity...

 and Haryana
Haryana
Haryana is a state in India. Historically, it has been a part of the Kuru region in North India. The name Haryana is found mentioned in the 12th century AD by the apabhramsha writer Vibudh Shridhar . It is bordered by Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to the north, and by Rajasthan to the west and south...

 to the northeast and Punjab to the north.
Encyclopedia
Rājasthān the land of Rajasthanis
Rajasthani people
Rajasthani people are the native inhabitants of Rajasthan region of India. They form an ethnic group which is a result of assimilation of Scytho-Dravidian, Aryo-Dravidian, Indo-Aryan, Indo-Scythian, Indo-Greeks, Indo-Iranians and Austro-Asiatic ancestries...

, ("the land of kings" or "the land of colours"), is the largest state
States and territories of India
India is a federal union of states comprising twenty-eight states and seven union territories. The states and territories are further subdivided into districts and so on.-List of states and territories:...

 of the Republic of India by area. It is located in the northwest of India. It encompasses most of the area of the large, inhospitable Great Indian Desert (Thar Desert
Thar Desert
The Thar Desert |Punjab]] province. The Cholistan Desert adjoins the Thar desert spreading into Pakistani Punjab province.-Location and description:...

), which has an edge paralleling the Sutlej
Sutlej
The Sutlej River is the longest of the five rivers that flow through the historic crossroad region of Punjab in northern India and Pakistan. It is located north of the Vindhya Range, south of the Hindu Kush segment of the Himalayas, and east of the Central Sulaiman Range in Pakistan.The Sutlej...

-Indus river valley along its border with Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

. The state is bordered by Pakistan to the west, Gujarat to the southwest, Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh , often called the Heart of India, is a state in central India. Its capital is Bhopal and Indore is the largest city....

 to the southeast, Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh abbreviation U.P. , is a state located in the northern part of India. With a population of over 200 million people, it is India's most populous state, as well as the world's most populous sub-national entity...

 and Haryana
Haryana
Haryana is a state in India. Historically, it has been a part of the Kuru region in North India. The name Haryana is found mentioned in the 12th century AD by the apabhramsha writer Vibudh Shridhar . It is bordered by Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to the north, and by Rajasthan to the west and south...

 to the northeast and Punjab to the north. Rajasthan covers an area of 132,150 sq mi or 342,239 km². The proportion of the state's total area to the total area of the country is 10.41 per cent.

Jaipur
Jaipur
Jaipur , also popularly known as the Pink City, is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan. Founded on 18 November 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber, the city today has a population of more than 3.1 million....

 is the capital and the largest city of the state. Geographical features include the Thar Desert along north-western Rajasthan and the termination of the Ghaggar River near the archaeological ruins at Kalibanga of the Indus Valley Civilization
Indus Valley Civilization
The Indus Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age civilization that was located in the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent, consisting of what is now mainly modern-day Pakistan and northwest India...

, which are the oldest in the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

 discovered so far.

One of the world's oldest mountain range
Mountain range
A mountain range is a single, large mass consisting of a succession of mountains or narrowly spaced mountain ridges, with or without peaks, closely related in position, direction, formation, and age; a component part of a mountain system or of a mountain chain...

s, the Aravalli Range
Aravalli Range
The Aravalli Range literally meaning 'line of peaks', is a range of mountains in western India and eastern Pakistan running approximately 800 km from northeast to southwest across states of Rajasthan, Haryana, and Gujarat and Pakistani provinces of Punjab and Sindh...

, cradles the only hill station
Hill station
A hill station is a town located at a higher elevation than the nearby plain or valley. The term was used mostly in colonial Asia , but also in Africa , for towns founded by European colonial rulers as refuges from the summer heat, up where temperatures are cooler...

 of Rajasthan, Mount Abu, famous for Dilwara Temples
Dilwara Temples
The Jain Dilwara temples of India are located about 2½ kilometers from Mount Abu, Rajasthan's only hill station. These temples built by Chalukya between the 11th and 13th centuries AD are world famous for their stunning use of marble. The five legendary marble temples of Dilwara are a sacred...

, a sacred pilgrimage for Jains
Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state...

. Eastern Rajasthan has the world famous Keoladeo National Park
Keoladeo National Park
The Keoladeo National Park or Keoladeo Ghana National Park formerly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India is a famous avifauna sanctuary that plays host to thousands of birds especially during the winter season. Over 230 species of birds are known to have made the...

 near Bharatpur
Bharatpur, India
Bharatpur is a city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was founded by Maharaja Suraj Mal in 1733. Located in the Brij region, Bharatpur was once an impregnable, well-planned and well-fortified city, and the capital of Jat kingdom ruled by Sinsinwar Maharajas.The trio of Bharatpur, Deeg and...

, a World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

 known for its bird life. It also has two
national tiger reserves, Ranthambore
Ranthambore National Park
Ranthambore National Park or Ranthambhore National Park or simply Ranthambhore is one of the largest national parks in northern India. It is situated in Sawai Madhopur district of southeastern Rajasthan, about 180 km south east of Jaipur, which is also the nearest airport...

 and Sariska Tiger Reserve
Sariska Tiger Reserve
The Sariska Tiger Reserve is a national park in India located in the Alwar district of the state of Rajasthan. The topography of Sariska supports scrub-thorn arid forests, dry deciduous forests, rocks and grasses. This area was a hunting preserve of the erstwhile Alwar state and it was declared a...

, and a famous temple in Khatu, Sikar district
Sikar district
Sikar District is a district of the state of Rajasthan in western India. The town of Sikar is the district headquarters.-Location:The district is located in the north-eastern part of the state of Rajasthan. It is bounded on the north by Jhunjhunu District, in the north-west by Churu district, in...

, dedicated to Khatu Shyam Ji. Rajasthan was formed on 30 March 1949, when the region known until then as Rajputana
Rajputana
Rājputāna was the pre-1949 name of the present-day Indian state of Rājasthān, the largest state of the Republic of India in terms of area. George Thomas was the first in 1800 A.D., to term this region as Rajputana...

, consisting of erstwhile princely states ruled by Rajput
Rajput
A Rajput is a member of one of the patrilineal clans of western, central, northern India and in some parts of Pakistan. Rajputs are descendants of one of the major ruling warrior classes in the Indian subcontinent, particularly North India...

s, Jats, Gurjars, and Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s, merged into the Dominion of India
Dominion of India
The Dominion of India, also known as the Union of India or the Indian Union , was a predecessor to modern-day India and an independent state that existed between 15 August 1947 and 26 January 1950...

.

Etymology

The first mention of word Rajasthan comes from the work of James Tod
James Tod
Lieutenant-Colonel James Tod was an English officer of the British East India Company and an Oriental scholar.Tod was born in London and educated in Scotland, later joining the East India Company as a military officer. He travelled to India in 1799 as a cadet in the Bengal Army where he rose...

 (Annals) in 1829 A.D. Rajasthan literally means a Land of Kingdoms. George Thomas (Military Memories) was the first in 1800 A.D., to term this region as Rajputana.John Keay
John Keay
John Keay is an English journalist and author specialising in writing popular histories about India and the Far East, often with a particular focus on their colonisation and exploration by Europeans.-Life and career:...

 in his book, India: A History stated that the Rajputana name was coined by the British, but that the word even achieved a retrospective authenticity: in an 1829 translation of Ferishta's history of early Islamic India, John Briggs discarded the phrase Indian princes, as rendered in Dow's earlier version, and substituted Rajpoot princes. Rajasthan was essentially the country of the Gurjars. R. C. Majumdar
R. C. Majumdar
Ramesh Chandra Majumdar was an Indian historian of great repute. He is sometimes called "the dean of Indian historians" for his colossal contribution to the study of Indian history.-Early life and education:...

 explained that the region was long known as Gurjaratra that is Country protected or ruled by the Gurjars, early form of Gujarat, before it came to be called Rajputana.

The only difference between erstwhile Rajputana and Rajasthan is that certain portions of what had been British India, in the former province of Ajmer-Merwara
Ajmer-Merwara
Ajmer-Merwara is a former province of British India in the historical Ajmer region. The territory of the province was ceded to the British by Daulat Rao Sindhia by a treaty on June 25, 1818....

, were included. Portions lying geographically outside of Rajputana such as the Sumel-Tappa area were included in Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh , often called the Heart of India, is a state in central India. Its capital is Bhopal and Indore is the largest city....

.

History

The Indus Valley Civilization
Indus Valley Civilization
The Indus Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age civilization that was located in the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent, consisting of what is now mainly modern-day Pakistan and northwest India...

, one of the world's first and oldest civilizations, was located in parts of what is now Rajasthan. Kalibangan
Kalibangan
Kalibangān is a town located at on the left or southern banks of the Ghaggar , identified by some scholars with Sarasvati River in Tehsil Pilibangān, between Suratgarh and Hanumāngarh in Hanumangarh district, Rajasthan, India 205 km. from Bikaner...

 in Hanumangarh district
Hanumangarh district
Hanumangarh District is a district of Rajasthan state of western India. The town of Hanumangarh is the district headquarters.-District profile:...

, Rajasthan was a major provincial capital of the Indus Valley Civilization. It is believed that Western Kshatrapas
Western Kshatrapas
The Western Satraps, Western Kshatrapas, or Kshaharatas were Saka rulers of the western and central part of India...

 (405-35 BC) were Saka
Saka
The Saka were a Scythian tribe or group of tribes....

 rulers of the western part of India (Saurashtra and Malwa: modern Gujarat, Southern Sindh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan). They were successors to the Indo-Scythians
Indo-Scythians
Indo-Scythians is a term used to refer to Sakas , who migrated into Bactria, Sogdiana, Arachosia, Gandhara, Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, from the middle of the 2nd century BCE to the 4th century CE....

, and were contemporaneous with the Kushans who ruled the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. The Indo-Scythians invaded the area of Ujjain
Ujjain
Ujjain , is an ancient city of Malwa region in central India, on the eastern bank of the Kshipra River , today part of the state of Madhya Pradesh. It is the administrative centre of Ujjain District and Ujjain Division.In ancient times the city was called Ujjayini...

 and establish the Saka era (with Saka calendar), marking the beginning of the long-lived Saka Western Satraps state.

Traditionally the Rajput
Rajput
A Rajput is a member of one of the patrilineal clans of western, central, northern India and in some parts of Pakistan. Rajputs are descendants of one of the major ruling warrior classes in the Indian subcontinent, particularly North India...

s, Charan
Charan
Chāraṇ is the term for a caste living in the Gujarat and Rajasthan states of India. According to Shrimada Bhagwata Skand Charans were created along with other divine forms such as Yaksha, Gandharvas, Kinnara, Sidhdhas, Apsara, etc. and lived with them in Heaven...

s, Yadavs, Jats
Jat people
The Jat people are a community of traditionally non-elite tillers and herders in Northern India and Pakistan. Originally pastoralists in the lower Indus river-valley of Sindh, Jats migrated north into the Punjab region in late medieval times, and subsequently into the Delhi Territory,...

, Bhil
Bhil
Bhils are primarily an Adivasi people of Central India. Bhils are also settled in the Tharparkar District of Sindh, Pakistan. They speak the Bhil languages, a subgroup of the Western Zone of the Indo-Aryan languages....

s, Gurjars, Bishnois
Bishnois
The Bishnois are known as the conservationists to whom the preservation of animal and vegetable life is a religion and has been so from the early 15th century. Their spiritual mentor, Guru Jambheshwar was a wise ecologist. He formulated Bis + noi = Bisnoi tenets from which the community derives...

 and other tribes made a great contribution in building the state of Rajasthan. All these tribes suffered great difficulties in protecting their culture and the land. Millions of them were martyred trying to protect their land. Gurjars had been exterminated in Bhinmal
Bhinmal
Bhinmal is a town in the Jalore District of Rajasthan, India. It is 72 km south of Jalore town. The name Bhinmal is derived from the word Shrimal.Bhinmal was old capital of the kingdom of the Gurjars during medieval period....

 and Ajmer
Ajmer
Ajmer , formerly written as Ajmere, is a city in Ajmer District in Rajasthan state in India. Ajmer has a population of around 800,000 , and is located west of the Rajasthan state capital Jaipur, 200 km from Jodhpur, 274 km from Udaipur, 439 km from Jaisalmer, and 391 km from...

 areas fighting with the invaders. Bhils once ruled Kota
Kota district
Kota District is a district of the state of Rajasthan in western India. The city of Kota is the administrative headquarters of the district.During the period around 12th century AD, Rao Deva,a Hada Chieftain conquered the territory and founded Bundi and Hadoti...

. Meenas were rulers of Bundi
Bundi
Bundi is a city and a municipality of approximately 88,000 inhabitants in the Hadoti region of Rajasthan state in northwest India. It is of particular architectural note for its ornate forts, palaces, and stepwell reservoirs known as baoris...

 and Dhundhar
Dhundhar
Dhundhar is a historical region of Rajasthan state in western India. It includes the districts of Jaipur, Dausa, Sawai Madhopur, and Tonk and the northern part of Karauli District...

 region.

Gurjars ruled many dynasties in this part of the country. In fact this region was long known as Gurjaratra. Up to the tenth century almost the whole of North India
North India
North India, known natively as Uttar Bhārat or Shumālī Hindustān , is a loosely defined region in the northern part of India. The exact meaning of the term varies by usage...

, excepting Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

, owned supremacy of Gurjars with their seat of power at Kannauj
Kannauj
Kannauj , also spelt Kanauj, is a city, administrative headquarters and a municipal board or Nagar Palika Parishad in Kannauj district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The city's name is traditionally derived from the term Kanyakubja . Kannauj is an ancient city, in earlier times the capital...

. Gurjar Pratihar Empire acted as barrier for Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 invaders from 6th to 11th century. The chief credit of Gurjara Pratihara empire lies in its successfully resistance to the foreign invasions from the west, from the days of Junaid. Historian Majumdar
R. C. Majumdar
Ramesh Chandra Majumdar was an Indian historian of great repute. He is sometimes called "the dean of Indian historians" for his colossal contribution to the study of Indian history.-Early life and education:...

, say that this was frankly recognized by the Arab writers themselves. He further clears that historians of India have wondered at the slow progress of Muslim invaders in India, as compared with their rapid advance in other parts of the world. Now, there can be little doubt that it was the power of the Gurjara Pratihara army that effectively barred the progress of the Muslims beyond the confines of Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

, their first conquest for nearly three hundred years.

The earlier contributions of warriors and protectors of the land Vishnois, Ahirs, Gurjars, Jats, Bhils and Meenas were neglected and lost in history due to stories of valour shown by certain specific clans in later years graining more prominence over older acts of bravery.

Rajasthan means the Land of the Kings. Modern Rajasthan includes most of Rajputana
Rajputana
Rājputāna was the pre-1949 name of the present-day Indian state of Rājasthān, the largest state of the Republic of India in terms of area. George Thomas was the first in 1800 A.D., to term this region as Rajputana...

, which comprises mainly the erstwhile Rajput kingdoms as well as two Jat kingdoms and a Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 kingdom. Marwar
Marwar
Marwar is a region of southwestern Rajasthan state in western India. It lies partly in the Thar Desert. In Rajasthani dialect "wad" means a particular area. The word Marwar is derived from Sanskrit word 'Maruwat'. English translation of the word is 'The region of desert'., The Imperial Gazetteer...

 (Jodhpur), Bikaner, Mewar
Mewar
Mewar is a region of south-central Rajasthan state in western India. It includes the present-day districts of Pratapgarh, Bhilwara, Chittorgarh, Rajsamand, Udaipur, Dungarpur, Banswara and some of the part of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The region was for centuries a Rajput kingdom that later...

 (Udaipur), Alwar and Dhundhar
Dhundhar
Dhundhar is a historical region of Rajasthan state in western India. It includes the districts of Jaipur, Dausa, Sawai Madhopur, and Tonk and the northern part of Karauli District...

 (Jaipur) were some of the main Rajput states. The Jats were rulers in Bharatpur
Bharatpur, India
Bharatpur is a city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was founded by Maharaja Suraj Mal in 1733. Located in the Brij region, Bharatpur was once an impregnable, well-planned and well-fortified city, and the capital of Jat kingdom ruled by Sinsinwar Maharajas.The trio of Bharatpur, Deeg and...

 and Dholpur
Dholpur
Dholpur is a city in eastern-most parts of the Rajasthan state of India. It is the administrative headquarters of Dholpur District and was formerly seat of the Dholpur princely state, before Independence....

. Tonk
Tonk (princely state)
Tonk was a Princely State of India which by treaty in 1817 accepted British suzerainty. Following the Partition of India in 1947, Tonk acceded to the newly independent Union of India. It was located in the region that is now the Tonk district.-History:...

 was ruled by a Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 Nawab
Nawab
A Nawab or Nawaab is an honorific title given to Muslim rulers of princely states in South Asia. It is the Muslim equivalent of the term "maharaja" that was granted to Hindu rulers....

. Rajput families rose to prominence in the 6th century CE. The Rajputs put a very valiant resistance to the Islamic invasions and protected this land with their warfare and chivalry for more than 500 years. They also resisted Mughal
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

 incursions into India, but contributed to the slower than anticipated access to the Indian Subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

. Later the Mughals, with a technique based on a combination of treachery and skilled warfare were able to set firm a grip on northern India, including Rajasthan. The fighter spirit and valour of Rajputs impressed the Mughals to such an extent that even after defeating the Rajputs, the Mughals held their valour and value in the highest esteem. Mewar led other kingdoms in its resistance to outside rule. Most notably Rana Sanga
Rana Sanga
-Historical Fact:Maharana Sangram Singh was the ruler of Mewar state, a region lying within the present-day Indian state of Rajasthan, a desert region, between 1509 and 1527. He was a scion of the Sisodia clan of Suryavanshi Rajputs...

 fought the Battle of Khanua against Babur
Babur
Babur was a Muslim conqueror from Central Asia who, following a series of setbacks, finally succeeded in laying the basis for the Mughal dynasty of South Asia. He was a direct descendant of Timur through his father, and a descendant also of Genghis Khan through his mother...

, the founder of the Mughal empire.

Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya
Hemu
Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya, Hemu Vikramaditya or simply Hemu was a Hindu Emperor of India during the sixteenth century, in medieval times...

, the Hindu Emperor, also known as Hemu in the history of India
History of India
The history of India begins with evidence of human activity of Homo sapiens as long as 75,000 years ago, or with earlier hominids including Homo erectus from about 500,000 years ago. The Indus Valley Civilization, which spread and flourished in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent from...

 was born in the village of Machheri in Alwar District
Alwar District
Alwar District is a district in Rajasthan, a state in northern India, with capital in the city of Alwar.The district is bounded on the north by Haryana state, and on the east by Bharatpur, on the south by Dausa, and on the west by Jaipur districts....

 in the year 1501. He had won 22 battles against Afghans, from Punjab
Punjab (India)
Punjab ) is a state in the northwest of the Republic of India, forming part of the larger Punjab region. The state is bordered by the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh to the east, Haryana to the south and southeast and Rajasthan to the southwest as well as the Pakistani province of Punjab to the...

 to Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

 and had defeated Akbar's forces twice at Agra
Agra
Agra a.k.a. Akbarabad is a city on the banks of the river Yamuna in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India, west of state capital, Lucknow and south from national capital New Delhi. With a population of 1,686,976 , it is one of the most populous cities in Uttar Pradesh and the 19th most...

 and Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

 in 1556, before acceeding to the throne of Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

 and establishing 'Hindu Raj' in North India
North India
North India, known natively as Uttar Bhārat or Shumālī Hindustān , is a loosely defined region in the northern part of India. The exact meaning of the term varies by usage...

, albeit for a short duration, from Purana Quila in Delhi. He was killed in the Second Battle of Panipat
Second battle of Panipat
The Second Battle of Panipat was fought between the forces of Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya, popularly called Hemu, the Hindu king who was ruling North India from Delhi, and the army of Jalal ud-Din Muhammad Akbar, on November 5, 1556...

.

Maharana Pratap of Mewar
Mewar
Mewar is a region of south-central Rajasthan state in western India. It includes the present-day districts of Pratapgarh, Bhilwara, Chittorgarh, Rajsamand, Udaipur, Dungarpur, Banswara and some of the part of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The region was for centuries a Rajput kingdom that later...

 resisted Akbar in the famous Battle of Haldighati
Battle of Haldighati
The Battle of Haldighati was fought between the Mughal Empire and the forces of Rajput kingdom Mewar on 18 June 1576 at Haldighati Pass which lies 44 km north of Udaipur in Rajasthan, India....

 {1576) and later operated from hilly areas of his kingdom. Bhils were Maharana's main allies during these wars. Most of these attacks were evenly met as the Mughal forces outnumbered Mewar Rajputs in all the wars fought between them. The Haldighati war was fought between 10,000 Mewaris and a 100,000 strong Mughal force (including many Rajputs like Kachwaha
Kachwaha
Kachwaha are a Suryavanshi Kshatriya clan who ruled a number of kingdoms and princely states in India such as Alwar, Maihar, Talcher, while the largest kingdom was Jaipur which was founded by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II in 1727...

s from Dhundhar).

Over the years the Mughals began to have internal disputes which took their concentration away at times. The Mughal Empire eventually weakened to which several groups across their kingdom saw opportunities to establish their power whilst the army was fighting somewhere else. The Rajputs saw this as an opportunity to reassert their independence. With the decline of the Mughal Empire in the 18th century, Rajputana
Rajputana
Rājputāna was the pre-1949 name of the present-day Indian state of Rājasthān, the largest state of the Republic of India in terms of area. George Thomas was the first in 1800 A.D., to term this region as Rajputana...

 came under attack by the Marathas and Pindaris, and the Maratha general Scindia captured Ajmer.

The Rajput kings following a rapid defeat, concluded treaties with the British in the early 19th century, accepting British sovereignty in return for local autonomy. Following the Mughal tradition as well as its strategic location Ajmer
Ajmer
Ajmer , formerly written as Ajmere, is a city in Ajmer District in Rajasthan state in India. Ajmer has a population of around 800,000 , and is located west of the Rajasthan state capital Jaipur, 200 km from Jodhpur, 274 km from Udaipur, 439 km from Jaisalmer, and 391 km from...

 became a province of British India, while the autonomous Rajput states, the Muslim state Tonk
Tonk (princely state)
Tonk was a Princely State of India which by treaty in 1817 accepted British suzerainty. Following the Partition of India in 1947, Tonk acceded to the newly independent Union of India. It was located in the region that is now the Tonk district.-History:...

, and the Jat states (Bharatpur
Bharatpur, India
Bharatpur is a city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was founded by Maharaja Suraj Mal in 1733. Located in the Brij region, Bharatpur was once an impregnable, well-planned and well-fortified city, and the capital of Jat kingdom ruled by Sinsinwar Maharajas.The trio of Bharatpur, Deeg and...

 and Dholpur
Dholpur
Dholpur is a city in eastern-most parts of the Rajasthan state of India. It is the administrative headquarters of Dholpur District and was formerly seat of the Dholpur princely state, before Independence....

) were organized into the Rajputana Agency
Rajputana Agency
The Rajputana Agency was a political office of the British Indian Empire dealing with a collection of native states in India , under the political charge of an Agent reporting directly to the Governor-General of India and residing at Mount Abu in the Aravalli Range...

.

Rajasthan's formerly independent kingdom created a rich architectural and cultural heritage, seen even today in their numerous forts and palaces (Mahals and Haveli
Haveli
Haveli is the term used for a private mansion in India and Pakistan. The word haveli is derived from the Persian word hawli, meaning "an enclosed place"...

s) which are enriched by features of Muslim and Jain architecture.

The development of the fresco
Fresco
Fresco is any of several related mural painting types, executed on plaster on walls or ceilings. The word fresco comes from the Greek word affresca which derives from the Latin word for "fresh". Frescoes first developed in the ancient world and continued to be popular through the Renaissance...

s in Rajasthan is linked with the history of the Marwaris, who have also played a crucial role in the economic development of the region. Many wealthy families throughout Indian history have links to Marwar. These families include the legendary Birla
Birla family
The Birla family is one of the foremost business houses in India. The fore-father of the Birla family is Shiv Narain Birla, a member of the Marwari community from Pilani, in the westerly state of Rajasthan. He moved to Bombay around 1857 to establish a trading house. His son, Baldeodas Birla moved...

, Bhandari
Bhandari
For other uses, see Bhandari .Bhandari caste is among the sea-faring warrior castes of ancient and medieval India. They migrated southward from Rajputana in early 1100 and subsequently spread over different parts of India...

, Bajaj, Mittal and Mirza
Mirza
Mirza , is of Persian origin, denoting the rank of a high nobleman or Prince. It is usually translated into English as a royal or imperial Prince of the Blood...

 families.

Geography

The main geographic features of Rajasthan are the Thar Desert
Thar Desert
The Thar Desert |Punjab]] province. The Cholistan Desert adjoins the Thar desert spreading into Pakistani Punjab province.-Location and description:...

 and the Aravalli Range
Aravalli Range
The Aravalli Range literally meaning 'line of peaks', is a range of mountains in western India and eastern Pakistan running approximately 800 km from northeast to southwest across states of Rajasthan, Haryana, and Gujarat and Pakistani provinces of Punjab and Sindh...

, which runs through the state from southwest to northeast, almost from one end to the other, for more than 850 km. Mount Abu is at the southwestern end of the range, separated from the main ranges by the West Banas River
West Banas River
The West Banas is a river of western India. It originates the southern Aravalli Range, in Sirohi District of the state of Rajasthan. It flows south, draining the valley between Mount Abu on the west and the easterly ridge of the Aravallis on the east...

, although a series of broken ridges continues into Haryana
Haryana
Haryana is a state in India. Historically, it has been a part of the Kuru region in North India. The name Haryana is found mentioned in the 12th century AD by the apabhramsha writer Vibudh Shridhar . It is bordered by Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to the north, and by Rajasthan to the west and south...

 in the direction of Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

 where it can be seen as outcrops in the form of the Raisina Hill
Raisina Hill
Raisina Hill is an area of Lutyens' Delhi, New Delhi, housing India's most important government buildings, including Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the President of India and the Secretariat building housing the Prime Minister's Office and several other important ministries...

 and the ridges farther north. About three-fifths of Rajasthan lies northwest of the Aravallis, leaving two-fifths on the east and south.

The northwestern portion of Rajasthan is generally sandy and dry. Most of the region is covered by the Thar Desert
Thar Desert
The Thar Desert |Punjab]] province. The Cholistan Desert adjoins the Thar desert spreading into Pakistani Punjab province.-Location and description:...

, which extends into adjoining portions of Pakistan. The Aravalli Range does not intercept the moisture-giving southwest monsoon
Monsoon
Monsoon is traditionally defined as a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation, but is now used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea...

 winds off the Arabian Sea
Arabian Sea
The Arabian Sea is a region of the Indian Ocean bounded on the east by India, on the north by Pakistan and Iran, on the west by the Arabian Peninsula, on the south, approximately, by a line between Cape Guardafui in northeastern Somalia and Kanyakumari in India...

, as it lies in a direction parallel to that of the coming monsoon winds, leaving the northwestern region in a rain shadow
Rain shadow
A rain shadow is a dry area on the lee side of a mountainous area. The mountains block the passage of rain-producing weather systems, casting a "shadow" of dryness behind them. As shown by the diagram to the right, the warm moist air is "pulled" by the prevailing winds over a mountain...

. The Thar Desert is thinly populated; the town of Bikaner is the largest city in the desert. The Northwestern thorn scrub forests
Northwestern thorn scrub forests
The Northwestern thorn scrub forests are a xeric shrubland ecoregion of Pakistan and northwestern India, a region of extreme temperatures and a very climate that was once covered in deciduous forest.-Location and description:...

 lie in a band around the Thar Desert, between the desert and the Aravallis. This region receives less than 400 mm of rain
Rain
Rain is liquid precipitation, as opposed to non-liquid kinds of precipitation such as snow, hail and sleet. Rain requires the presence of a thick layer of the atmosphere to have temperatures above the melting point of water near and above the Earth's surface...

 in an average year. Temperatures can exceed 45 °C in the summer months and drop below freezing in the winter. The Godwar
Godwar
Gorwar or Godwad, is a region of Rajasthan state in India, which lies in the southwest Rajasthan and borders with the state of Gujarat.-Geography:...

, Marwar
Marwar
Marwar is a region of southwestern Rajasthan state in western India. It lies partly in the Thar Desert. In Rajasthani dialect "wad" means a particular area. The word Marwar is derived from Sanskrit word 'Maruwat'. English translation of the word is 'The region of desert'., The Imperial Gazetteer...

, and Shekhawati
Shekhawati
Shekhawati is a semi-arid historical region located in the northeast part of Rajasthan, India got its name from Shekhawat Rajputs....

 regions lie in the thorn scrub forest zone, along with the city of Jodhpur
Jodhpur
Jodhpur , is the second largest city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is located west from the state capital, Jaipur and from the city of Ajmer. It was formerly the seat of a princely state of the same name, the capital of the kingdom known as Marwar...

. The Luni River
Luni River
The Luni is a river of western Rajasthan state, India. It originates in the Pushkar valley of the Aravalli Range, near Ajmer and ends in the marshy lands of Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, after travelling a distance of 530 km...

 and its tributaries are the major river system of Godwar and Marwar regions, draining the western slopes of the Aravallis and emptying southwest into the great Rann of Kutch
Rann of Kutch
The Great Rann of Kutch, also called Greater Rann of Kutch or just Rann of Kutch , is a seasonal salt marsh located in the Thar Desert in the Kutch District of Gujarat, India and the Sindh province of Pakistan....

 wetland in neighboring Gujarat. This river is saline in the lower reaches and remains potable only up to Balotara in Barmer district. The Ghaggar River, which originates in Haryana
Haryana
Haryana is a state in India. Historically, it has been a part of the Kuru region in North India. The name Haryana is found mentioned in the 12th century AD by the apabhramsha writer Vibudh Shridhar . It is bordered by Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to the north, and by Rajasthan to the west and south...

, is an intermittent stream that disappears into the sands of the Thar Desert in the northern corner of the state and is seen as a remnant of the primitive Saraswati
Saraswati
In Hinduism Saraswati , is the goddess of knowledge, music, arts, science and technology. She is the consort of Brahma, also revered as His Shakti....

 river.

The Aravalli Range and the lands to the east and southeast of the range are generally more fertile and better watered. This region is home to the Kathiarbar-Gir dry deciduous forests
Kathiarbar-Gir dry deciduous forests
The Kathiawar-Gir dry deciduous forests are a tropical dry broadleaf forest ecoregion of western India which is home to the last remaining populations of the Asiatic Lion in Gir Forest National Park in Gujarat.-Setting:...

 ecoregion, with tropical dry broadleaf forests
Tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests
The tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forest biome, also known as tropical dry forest, is located at tropical and subtropical latitudes. Though these forests occur in climates that are warm year-round, and may receive several hundred centimeters of rain per year, they have long dry seasons...

 that include teak
Teak
Teak is the common name for the tropical hardwood tree species Tectona grandis and its wood products. Tectona grandis is native to south and southeast Asia, mainly India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Burma, but is naturalized and cultivated in many countries, including those in Africa and the...

, Acacia
Acacia
Acacia is a genus of shrubs and trees belonging to the subfamily Mimosoideae of the family Fabaceae, first described in Africa by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1773. Many non-Australian species tend to be thorny, whereas the majority of Australian acacias are not...

, and other trees. The hilly Vagad
Vagad
Vagad is a region in southeastern Rajasthan state of western India. The major cities of the region are Dungarpur and Banswara, both princely states in 19th century....

 region lies in southernmost Rajasthan, on the border with Gujarat. With the exception of Mount Abu, Vagad is the wettest region in Rajasthan, and the most heavily forested. North of Vagad lies the Mewar
Mewar
Mewar is a region of south-central Rajasthan state in western India. It includes the present-day districts of Pratapgarh, Bhilwara, Chittorgarh, Rajsamand, Udaipur, Dungarpur, Banswara and some of the part of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The region was for centuries a Rajput kingdom that later...

 region, home to the cities of Udaipur
Udaipur
Udaipur , also known as the City of Lakes, is a city, a Municipal Council and the administrative headquarters of the Udaipur district in the state of Rajasthan in western India. It is located southwest of the state capital, Jaipur, west of Kota, and northeast from Ahmedabad...

 and Chittaurgarh. The Hadoti
Hadoti
Hadoti , is a region of Rajasthan state in western India...

 region lies to the southeast, on the border with Madhya Pradesh. North of Hadoti and Mewar is the Dhundhar
Dhundhar
Dhundhar is a historical region of Rajasthan state in western India. It includes the districts of Jaipur, Dausa, Sawai Madhopur, and Tonk and the northern part of Karauli District...

 region, home to the state capital of Jaipur
Jaipur
Jaipur , also popularly known as the Pink City, is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan. Founded on 18 November 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber, the city today has a population of more than 3.1 million....

. Mewat
Mewat
Mewat is a historical region of Haryana and Rajasthan states in northwestern India. The loose boundaries of Mewat are not precisely determined but generally include Mewat District of Haryana and parts of Alwar, Bharatpur, and Dholpur districts of Rajasthan...

, the easternmost region of Rajasthan, borders Haryana
Haryana
Haryana is a state in India. Historically, it has been a part of the Kuru region in North India. The name Haryana is found mentioned in the 12th century AD by the apabhramsha writer Vibudh Shridhar . It is bordered by Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to the north, and by Rajasthan to the west and south...

 and Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh abbreviation U.P. , is a state located in the northern part of India. With a population of over 200 million people, it is India's most populous state, as well as the world's most populous sub-national entity...

. Eastern and southeastern Rajasthan is drained by the Banas
Banas River
The Banas is a river of Rajasthan state in western India. It is a tributary of the Chambal River, which in turn flows into the Yamuna, a tributary of the Ganges. The Banas is approximately 512 kilometres in length. It is also known as 'Van Ki Asha' .The Banas originates in the Khamnor Hills of the...

 and Chambal
Chambal River
The Chambal River is a tributary of the Yamuna River in central India, and forms part of the greater Gangetic drainage system. The river flows north-northeast through Madhya Pradesh, running for a time through Rajasthan, then forming the boundary between Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh before turning...

 rivers, tributaries of the Ganges.

The Aravali Range runs across the state from the southwest peak Guru Shikhar
Guru Shikhar
Guru Shikhar, a peak at an altitude of 5,676 feet , is the highest point in Rajasthan. It is located at a distance of 15 km from Mount Abu. It has a commanding view of Abu and its surroundings....

 (Mount Abu), which is 1,722 m in height, to Khetri
Khetri
Khetri Nagar is a town in Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan in India. It is part of Shekhawati region. Khetri is actually two towns, the first "Khetri Town" was founded by Raja Khet Singhji Nirwan. The other is the town of "Khetri Nagar", which is about 10 km away from Khetri. It is known for...

 in the northeast. This divides the state into 60% in the northwest of the range and 40% in the southeast. The northwest tract is sandy and unproductive with little water but improves gradually from desert land in the far west and northwest to comparatively fertile and habitable land towards the east. The area includes the Thar Desert. The south-eastern area, higher in elevation (100 to 350 m above sea level) and more fertile, has a very diversified topography. in the south lies the hilly tract of Mewar
Mewar
Mewar is a region of south-central Rajasthan state in western India. It includes the present-day districts of Pratapgarh, Bhilwara, Chittorgarh, Rajsamand, Udaipur, Dungarpur, Banswara and some of the part of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The region was for centuries a Rajput kingdom that later...

. In the southeast, a large area within the districts of Kota
Kota district
Kota District is a district of the state of Rajasthan in western India. The city of Kota is the administrative headquarters of the district.During the period around 12th century AD, Rao Deva,a Hada Chieftain conquered the territory and founded Bundi and Hadoti...

 and Bundi
Bundi
Bundi is a city and a municipality of approximately 88,000 inhabitants in the Hadoti region of Rajasthan state in northwest India. It is of particular architectural note for its ornate forts, palaces, and stepwell reservoirs known as baoris...

 forms a tableland. To the northeast of these districts is a rugged region (badlands) following the line of the Chambal River
Chambal River
The Chambal River is a tributary of the Yamuna River in central India, and forms part of the greater Gangetic drainage system. The river flows north-northeast through Madhya Pradesh, running for a time through Rajasthan, then forming the boundary between Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh before turning...

. Farther north the country levels out; the flat plains of the northeastern Bharatpur district
Bharatpur district
Bharatpur District is a district of Rajasthan state in western India. The town of Bharatpur is the district headquarters.-History:When Bharatpur was a princely state, it was the only political entity ever to have a Chartreuse colored flag.-Demographics:...

 are part of an alluvial basin.
Merta City
Merta City
Merta City is a city and a municipality in Nagaur district in the Indian state of Rajasthan.-Demographics: India census, Merta City had a population of 40,252. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Merta City has an average literacy rate of 60%, higher than the national average of...

 is the center of Rajasthan.

Language

Rajasthani (although constitutional status is pending) is the main spoken language although Hindi and English are used for official purpose. It is spoken by 130 million people in Rajasthan and other states
States and territories of India
India is a federal union of states comprising twenty-eight states and seven union territories. The states and territories are further subdivided into districts and so on.-List of states and territories:...

 of India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

.

Economy

Rajasthan's economy is primarily agricultural and pastoral
Pastoral
The adjective pastoral refers to the lifestyle of pastoralists, such as shepherds herding livestock around open areas of land according to seasons and the changing availability of water and pasturage. It also refers to a genre in literature, art or music that depicts such shepherd life in an...

. Wheat and barley
Barley
Barley is a major cereal grain, a member of the grass family. It serves as a major animal fodder, as a base malt for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods...

 are cultivated over large areas, as are pulses
Pulse (legume)
A pulse is an annual leguminous crop yielding from one to twelve seeds of variable size, shape, and color within a pod. Pulses are used for food and animal feed. The term "pulse", as used by the Food and Agricultural Organization , is reserved for crops harvested solely for the dry seed...

, sugarcane
Sugarcane
Sugarcane refers to any of six to 37 species of tall perennial grasses of the genus Saccharum . Native to the warm temperate to tropical regions of South Asia, they have stout, jointed, fibrous stalks that are rich in sugar, and measure two to six metres tall...

, and oilseeds. Cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

 and tobacco are the state's cash crops. Rajasthan is among the largest producers of edible oils in India and the second largest producer of oilseeds. Rajasthan is also the biggest wool
Wool
Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and certain other animals, including cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, vicuña, alpaca, camel from animals in the camel family, and angora from rabbits....

-producing state in India and the main opium
Opium
Opium is the dried latex obtained from the opium poppy . Opium contains up to 12% morphine, an alkaloid, which is frequently processed chemically to produce heroin for the illegal drug trade. The latex also includes codeine and non-narcotic alkaloids such as papaverine, thebaine and noscapine...

 producer and consumer. There are mainly two crop seasons. The water for irrigation comes from wells and tanks. The Indira Gandhi Canal
Indira Gandhi Canal
The Indira Gandhi Canal is one of the biggest canal projects in India.It starts from the Harike Barrage at Sultanpur, a few kilometers below the confluence of the Sutlej and Beas rivers in Punjab state. Irrigation facilities to the north-western region of Rajasthan, a part of the Thar Desert...

 irrigates northwestern Rajasthan.
The main industries are mineral based, agriculture based, and textiles. Rajasthan is the second largest producer of polyester
Polyester
Polyester is a category of polymers which contain the ester functional group in their main chain. Although there are many polyesters, the term "polyester" as a specific material most commonly refers to polyethylene terephthalate...

 fibre in India. The Pali
Páli
- External links :* *...

 and Bhilwara District
Bhilwara district
Bhilwara District is a district of the state of Rajasthan in western India. The town of Bhilwara is the district headquarters.-Geography and demographics:...

 produces more cloth than Bhiwandi
Bhiwandi
Bhiwandi is a city, in the district of Thane, in the western state of Maharashtra, in India, located 20 km to the north-east of Mumbai and 15 km to the north-east of Thane city...

, Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

 and the bhilwara
Bhilwara
Bhilwara is the city in Mewar region of Rajasthan, India. The Cloth & Industrial city has its own uniqueness which makes it as a special district in Rajasthan.Bhilwara "The City of Cloth Culture & Calmness"- History :...

 is the largest city in suitings production and export and Pali is largest city in cotton and polyster in blouse pes and rubia production and export. Several prominent chemical and engineering companies are located in the city of Kota
Kota, Rajasthan
Kota , formerly known as Kotah, is a city in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan. It is located south of state capital, Jaipur. Situated on the banks of Chambal River, the city is the trade centre for an area in which millet, wheat, rice, pulses, coriander and oilseeds are grown; industries...

, in southern Rajasthan. Rajasthan is pre-eminent in quarrying and mining in India. The Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is a white Marble mausoleum located in Agra, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal...

 was built from the white marble which was mined from a town called Makrana
Makrana
Makrana is a town in the Nagaur district of Indian state of Rajasthan. Makrana is famous for the white stone as marble mined from the mines around it. It is said that the Taj Mahal was built from Makrana marble. Makrana is a small town, but it has plenty of marble outcrops. Most of the residents...

. The state is the second largest source of cement
Cement
In the most general sense of the word, a cement is a binder, a substance that sets and hardens independently, and can bind other materials together. The word "cement" traces to the Romans, who used the term opus caementicium to describe masonry resembling modern concrete that was made from crushed...

 in India. It has rich salt
Salt
In chemistry, salts are ionic compounds that result from the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. They are composed of cations and anions so that the product is electrically neutral...

 deposits at Sambhar
Sambhar, Rajasthan
Sambhar is a city and a municipality in Jaipur district in the Indian state of Rajasthan.-Geography:Its importance is primarily because of it is situated along the Sambhar Lake, the largest saline lake in India....

, copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

 mines at Khetri
Khetri
Khetri Nagar is a town in Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan in India. It is part of Shekhawati region. Khetri is actually two towns, the first "Khetri Town" was founded by Raja Khet Singhji Nirwan. The other is the town of "Khetri Nagar", which is about 10 km away from Khetri. It is known for...

, Jhunjhunu
Jhunjhunu
Jhunjhunu is a town in the state of Rajasthan in India, and the administrative headquarters of Jhunjhunu District. It is located a 180 km from Jaipur and 245 km from Delhi. The town is famous for the frescos on its grand Havelis, a special artistic feature of this region.- Etymology...

 and zinc
Zinc
Zinc , or spelter , is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element in group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is, in some respects, chemically similar to magnesium, because its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2...

 mines at Dariba, Zawar mines at Zawarmala for zinc
Zinc
Zinc , or spelter , is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element in group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is, in some respects, chemically similar to magnesium, because its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2...

, Rampura Aghucha (opencast) near Bhilwara
Bhilwara
Bhilwara is the city in Mewar region of Rajasthan, India. The Cloth & Industrial city has its own uniqueness which makes it as a special district in Rajasthan.Bhilwara "The City of Cloth Culture & Calmness"- History :...

. Dimensional stone mining is also undertaken in Rajasthan. Jodhpur sandstone
Sandstone
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized minerals or rock grains.Most sandstone is composed of quartz and/or feldspar because these are the most common minerals in the Earth's crust. Like sand, sandstone may be any colour, but the most common colours are tan, brown, yellow,...

 is mostly used in monuments, important buildings and residential buildings. This stone is termed as "chittar patthar".

Rajasthan is now the preferred destination for IT companies and North India's largest integrated IT park is located in Jaipur
Jaipur
Jaipur , also popularly known as the Pink City, is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan. Founded on 18 November 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber, the city today has a population of more than 3.1 million....

 and is named as Mahindra World City
Mahindra World City
Mahindra World City may refer to:* Mahindra World City, New Chennai,a premier Special Economic zone in the South of IT Corridor.* Mahindra World City, Jaipur, an integrated business complex in Jaipur...

 Jaipur
Jaipur
Jaipur , also popularly known as the Pink City, is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan. Founded on 18 November 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber, the city today has a population of more than 3.1 million....

 covering nearly 3000 acres (12.1 km²) of land. Some of the companies operating in Rajasthan include Infosys
Infosys
Infosys Limited, formerly Infosys Technologies Limited is a global technology services company headquartered in Bangalore, India. It is the second largest IT exporter in India with 133,560 employees as of March 2011. It has offices in 33 countries and development centers in India, China,...

, Genpact
Genpact
Genpact Limited is a global business process and technology management company. It was formerly a GE owned company called GE Capital International Services or GECIS. It operates from India, China, Guatemala, Hungary, México, Morocco, the Philippines, Poland, the Netherlands, Romania, Spain, South...

, Wipro
Wipro
Wipro Limited formally Western India Products Limited is a global IT services and consulting company headquartered in Bangalore, India. As of 2011, Wipro is the second largest IT services company by turnover in India and employs more than 120,000 people worldwide as of March 2011...

, Truworth, Deutsche Bank, NEI, MICO, Honda Siel Cars, Coca Cola and Procter & Gamble.

Tourism

Rajasthan attracted 14 percent of total foreign visitors during 2009-2010 which is the fourth highest among Indian states. It is fourth also in Domestic tourist visitors. Endowed with natural beauty and a great history, tourism is a flourishing industry in Rajasthan. The palaces of Jaipur and Ajmer-Pushkar, the lakes of Udaipur, the desert forts of Jodhpur, Taragarh Fort
Taragarh Fort
Taragarh Fort or 'Star Fort' is the most impressive of structures of city of Bundi in Indian state of Rajasthan. A rather ramshackle fort, with its overgrown vegetation, is located around 39 km from Kota. It was constructed in AD 1354 upon a steep hillside. There are three gateways to the...

 (Star Fort) in Bundi, and Bikaner and Jaisalmer rank among the most preferred destinations in India for many tourists both Indian and foreign. Tourism accounts for eight percent of the state's domestic product. Many old and neglected palaces and forts have been converted into heritage hotels. Tourism has increased employment in the hospitality sector.

Rajasthan is famous for its majestic forts, intricately carved temples, and decorated haveli
Haveli
Haveli is the term used for a private mansion in India and Pakistan. The word haveli is derived from the Persian word hawli, meaning "an enclosed place"...

s, which were built by Rajput kings in pre-Muslim era Rajasthan. Rajasthan's Jaipur Jantar Mantar, Dilwara Temples
Dilwara Temples
The Jain Dilwara temples of India are located about 2½ kilometers from Mount Abu, Rajasthan's only hill station. These temples built by Chalukya between the 11th and 13th centuries AD are world famous for their stunning use of marble. The five legendary marble temples of Dilwara are a sacred...

, Chittorgarh Fort
Chittorgarh Fort
Chittorgarh Fort is the largest fort in India and the grandest in the state of Rajasthan. The fort, plainly known as Chittor, was the capital of Mewar and is today situated several kilometres by road south of Bhilwara...

, Lake Palace
Lake Palace
Lake Palace is a luxury hotel, of 83 rooms and suites featuring white marble walls, located on a natural foundation of rock on the Jag Niwas island in Lake Pichola, Udaipur, India....

, miniature paintings in Bundi, and numerous city palaces and havelis are an important part of the architectural heritage of India. Jaipur
Jaipur
Jaipur , also popularly known as the Pink City, is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan. Founded on 18 November 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber, the city today has a population of more than 3.1 million....

, the Pink City, is noted for the ancient houses made of a type of sand stone dominated by a pink hue. In Bundi, maximum houses are painted blue. At Ajmer
Ajmer
Ajmer , formerly written as Ajmere, is a city in Ajmer District in Rajasthan state in India. Ajmer has a population of around 800,000 , and is located west of the Rajasthan state capital Jaipur, 200 km from Jodhpur, 274 km from Udaipur, 439 km from Jaisalmer, and 391 km from...

, the white marble Bara-dari on the Anasagar lake is exquisite. Jain Temples dot Rajasthan from north to south and east to west. Dilwara Temples
Dilwara Temples
The Jain Dilwara temples of India are located about 2½ kilometers from Mount Abu, Rajasthan's only hill station. These temples built by Chalukya between the 11th and 13th centuries AD are world famous for their stunning use of marble. The five legendary marble temples of Dilwara are a sacred...

 of Mount Abu, Ranakpur Temple
Ranakpur
Ranakpur is a village located in Desuri tehsil near Sadri town in the Pali district of Rajasthan in western India. It is located between Jodhpur and Udaipur, in a valley on the western side of the Aravalli Range...

 dedicated to Lord Adinath in Pali District, Jain temples in the fort complexes of Chittor, Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer
Jaysalmer , nicknamed "The Golden City", is a town in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is located west from the state capital Jaipur. It was once known as Jaisalmer state. The town stands on a ridge of yellowish sandstone, crowned by a fort, which contains the palace and several ornate Jain...

 and Kumbhalgarh
Kumbhalgarh
Kumbhalgarh is a Mewar fortress in the Rajsamand District of Rajasthan state in western India. Built during the course of the 15th century by Rana Kumbha, and enlarged through the 19th century, Kumbhalgarh is also a birthplace of Maharana Pratap, the great king and warrior of Mewar...

, Lodurva Jain temples, Bhandasar and Karni Mata Temple of Bikaner are some of the best examples.

Rajasthan is often called a shopper's paradise. Rajasthan is famous for textiles, semi-precious stones and handicrafts. The attractive designs of jewellery and clothes are eye-catching and invite shoppers. Rajasthani furniture has intricate carvings and bright colours. Rajasthani handicrafts are in demand due to the intricate work on them. Above all, Rajasthan's shopping appeals to both tourists and people from other parts of India due to its cheap prices for quality goods.

Bikaner is famous for its namkeens, Jaipur for its jewellery, Jodhpur for sweets and Jaisalmer for yellow stone, wall paintings of bundi.

Culture

Rajasthan is culturally rich and has artistic and cultural traditions which reflect the ancient Indian way of life. There is rich and varied folk culture
Folk culture
Folk culture refers to the lifestyle of a culture. Historically, handed down through oral tradition, it demonstrates the "old ways" over novelty and relates to a sense of community. Folk culture is quite often imbued with a sense of place...

 from villages which is often depicted and is symbolic of the state. Highly cultivated classical music and dance with its own distinct style is part of the cultural tradition of Rajasthan. The music is uncomplicated and songs depict day-to-day relationships and chores, more often focused around fetching water from wells or ponds.

The Ghoomar
Ghoomar
Ghoomar is a traditional women's folk dance of Rajasthan, India which was developed by the Bhil tribe and was adopted by other Rajasthani communities...

 dance from Udaipur and Kalbeliya dance of Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer
Jaysalmer , nicknamed "The Golden City", is a town in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is located west from the state capital Jaipur. It was once known as Jaisalmer state. The town stands on a ridge of yellowish sandstone, crowned by a fort, which contains the palace and several ornate Jain...

 have gained international recognition. Folk music is a vital part of Rajasthani culture. Kathputli, Bhopa
Bhopa
The Bhopas are the priest singers of the folk deities in Rajasthan state of India. They perform in front of a scroll, known as phad or par in Rajasthani that depicts the episodes of the narrative of the folk deity and functions as a portable temple...

, Chang, Teratali, Ghindr, Kachchhighori, Tejaji  etc. are the examples of the traditional Rajasthani culture. Folk songs are commonly ballads which relate heroic deeds and love stories; and religious or devotional songs known as bhajans and banis (often accompanied by musical instruments like dholak
Dholak
The Dholak is a North Indian, Pakistani and Nepalese double-headed hand-drum Madal. The name dholki may also refer to a slightly different instrument that uses high-pitch tabla style syahi masala on its treble skin. This instrument is also known as Naal or Dholki....

, sitar
Sitar
The 'Tablaman' is a plucked stringed instrument predominantly used in Hindustani classical music, where it has been ubiquitous since the Middle Ages...

, sarangi
Sarangi
The Sārangī is a bowed, short-necked string instrument of India which is originated from Rajasthani folk instruments. It plays an important role in India's Hindustani classical music tradition...

 etc.) are also sung.

Rajasthan is known for its traditional, colorful art.wall painting in bundi . The block prints, tie and dye prints, Bagaru prints, Sanganer prints, and Zari
Zari
Zari is basically a tinsel thread meant for weaving and embroidery. It is manufactured by winding or wrapping a flattened metallic strip made from pure gold, silver or slitted metallised polyester film, on a core yarn, usually of pure silk, art silk, viscose, cotton, nylon, polyester, P.P.,...

 embroidery are major export products from Rajasthan. Handicraft items like wooden furniture and handicrafts, carpets, and blue pottery are some of the things commonly found here. Rajasthan is a shoppers' paradise, with beautiful goods found at low prices. Reflecting the colorful Rajasthani culture, Rajasthani clothes have a lot of mirror-work and embroidery. A Rajasthani traditional dress for females comprises an ankle length skirt and a short top, also known as a lehenga or a chaniya choli. A piece of cloth is used to cover the head, both for protection from heat and maintenance of modesty. Rajasthani dresses are usually designed in bright colours like blue, yellow and orange.

The main religious festivals are Deepawali, Holi
Holi
Holi , is a religious spring festival celebrated by Hindus. Holi is also known as festival of Colours. It is primarily observed in India, Nepal, Pakistan, and countries with large Indic diaspora populations following Hinduism, such as Suriname, Malaysia, Guyana, South Africa, Trinidad, United...

, Gangaur
Gangaur
Gangaur is a festival celebrated in the Indian state of Rajasthan.Gangaur is the colourful and the one of the most important festivals of people of Rajasthan and is observed throughout the state with great fervour and devotion by womenfolk who worship Gauri, the consort of Lord Shiva during...

, Teej
Teej
Teej is a fasting festival for Hindu women. It takes place on the third day of Shukla Paksha of the Shraavana or Saawan month of Hindu calendar that normally falls from late July to early September...

, Gogaji
Gogaji
Gogaji also known as Jahar Veer Gogga is a folk deity of Rajasthan state in India. He is an eminent warrior-hero of the region. He is also venerated as a saint and even as 'snake-god'.- Introduction :He is known as Goga among the Hindus...

, Shri Devnarayan Jayanti
Devnarayan
Shri Devnarayan , an ancient Gurjar warrior from Rajasthan who is believed to have been an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, is worshipped as a folk deity, mostly in Rajasthan and north-western Madhya Pradesh.According to tradition, he was born to Sri Savai Bhoj and Sadu mata Gurjari on the seventh day...

, Makar Sankranti and Janmashtami, as the main religion is Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

. Rajasthan's desert festival is celebrated with great zest and zeal. This festival is held once a year during winter. Dressed in brilliantly hued costumes, the people of the desert dance and sing haunting ballads of valor, romance and tragedy. There are fairs with snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats and folk performers. Camels, of course, play a stellar role in this festival.

Government

The current government in Rajasthan is that of Indian National Congress
Indian National Congress
The Indian National Congress is one of the two major political parties in India, the other being the Bharatiya Janata Party. It is the largest and one of the oldest democratic political parties in the world. The party's modern liberal platform is largely considered center-left in the Indian...

. The current Chief Minister is Ashok Gehlot
Ashok Gehlot
Ashok Gehlot is the 21st & 23rd Chief Minister of the state of Rajasthan, India.-Personal:Shri Ashok Gehlot, son of Late Shri Laxman Singh Gehlot, was born on 3 May 1951 in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. A Science and Law Graduate, Shri Gehlot holds an M.A. in Economics. Married to Smt. Sunita Gehlot on 27...

.

Politics

The Political life of Rajasthan is dominated by two major parties Bharatiya Janata Party
Bharatiya Janata Party
The Bharatiya Janata Party ,; translation: Indian People's Party) is one of the two major political parties in India, the other being the Indian National Congress. Established in 1980, it is India's second largest political party in terms of representation in the parliament...

 (BJP), and Indian National Congress
Indian National Congress
The Indian National Congress is one of the two major political parties in India, the other being the Bharatiya Janata Party. It is the largest and one of the oldest democratic political parties in the world. The party's modern liberal platform is largely considered center-left in the Indian...

.

Districts

Rajasthan is divided into 33 districts and seven divisions:
  • Ajmer Division: Ajmer
    Ajmer district
    Ajmer District is a district of the state of Rajasthan in western India. The city of Ajmer is the district headquarters.Ajmer District has an area of 8,481 km², and a population of 2,180,526 ,Three main groups are; Hindu 1,869,044, Muslim 244,341, Jains 47,812...

    , Bhilwara
    Bhilwara district
    Bhilwara District is a district of the state of Rajasthan in western India. The town of Bhilwara is the district headquarters.-Geography and demographics:...

    , Nagaur
    Nagaur District
    Nagaur District is one of the 33 districts of the state of Rajasthan in western India.Area of the district is 17,718 km2. The city of Nagaur is the district headquarters.- Geography :...

    , Tonk
    Tonk District
    Tonk District is a district of the state of Rajasthan in western India. The city of Tonk is the administrative headquarters of the district. The district is bounded on the north by Jaipur district, on the east by Sawai Madhopur district, on the southeast by Kota district, on the south by Bundi...

    .
  • Bharatpur Division: Bharatpur
    Bharatpur district
    Bharatpur District is a district of Rajasthan state in western India. The town of Bharatpur is the district headquarters.-History:When Bharatpur was a princely state, it was the only political entity ever to have a Chartreuse colored flag.-Demographics:...

    , Dholpur
    Dholpur district
    Dholpur District is a district of Rajasthan state in western India. The town of Dholpur is the district headquarters.Dholpur District has an area of 3084 km². The Chambal River forms the southern boundary of the district, across which lies the state of Madhya Pradesh...

    , Karauli
    Karauli district
    Karauli District is a district of Rajasthan state in western India. The town of Karauli is the district headquarters. The district of Karauli encompasses an area of 5530 km². It is bordered by Dholpur District to the east; by Bharatpur District to the north-east; by Dausa District to the...

    , Sawai Madhopur
    Sawai Madhopur district
    Sawai Madhopur District is a district of Rajasthan state in western India. Sawai Madhopur is the chief town and district headquarters. The district has an area of 4500 km², and a population of 1,116,031 with a population density of 248 persons per km²...

    .
  • Bikaner Division: Bikaner
    Bikaner district
    Bikaner District is a district of the state of Rajasthan in western India. The historic city of Bikaner is the district headquarters. Bikaner is also Division with the four district: Bikaner, Churu, Sri Ganganagar and Hanumangarh.-Geography:...

    , Churu
    Churu district
    Churu is a district of Rajasthan state of western India. The town of Churu is the administrative headquarters of the district.Churu lies in the Jangladesh region of northern Rajasthan...

    , SriGanganagar, Hanumangarh
    Hanumangarh district
    Hanumangarh District is a district of Rajasthan state of western India. The town of Hanumangarh is the district headquarters.-District profile:...

    .
  • Jaipur Division: Jaipur
    Jaipur district
    Jaipur District is a district of the state of Rajasthan in western India. The city of Jaipur, which is Rajasthan's capital and largest city, is the district headquarters. It is the tenth most populous district in India .-Geography:...

    , Alwar
    Alwar District
    Alwar District is a district in Rajasthan, a state in northern India, with capital in the city of Alwar.The district is bounded on the north by Haryana state, and on the east by Bharatpur, on the south by Dausa, and on the west by Jaipur districts....

    , Jhunjhunu
    Jhunjhunu District
    Jhunjhunu district or Jhunjhunun district is a district of the state of Rajasthan in western India. The town of Jhunjhunu is the district headquarters....

    , Sikar
    Sikar district
    Sikar District is a district of the state of Rajasthan in western India. The town of Sikar is the district headquarters.-Location:The district is located in the north-eastern part of the state of Rajasthan. It is bounded on the north by Jhunjhunu District, in the north-west by Churu district, in...

    , Dausa
    Dausa district
    Dausa District is a district of Rajasthan state in western India. The city of Dausa is the district headquarters. Dausa District has a population of 1,316,790 , an area of 2950 km², and a population density of 384 persons per km² with 62.75 % literacy rate...

    .
  • Jodhpur Division: Barmer
    Barmer district
    Barmer is a district of Rajasthan state, India. Barmer is the district headquarters. Balotra, Guda Malani, Baytoo, Siwana, Jasol and Chohatan are other major towns.-Geography:...

    , Jaisalmer
    Jaisalmer district
    Jaisalmer District is a district of Rajasthan state in western India. The city of Jaisalmer is the administrative headquarters of the district.As of 2011 it is the least populous district of Rajasthan .-Geography:...

    , Jalore, Jodhpur
    Jodhpur district
    Jodhpur District is a district of the state of Rajasthan in western India. The city of Jodhpur is the administrative headquarters of the district.As of 2011 it is the second most populous district of Rajasthan , after Jaipur.-History:...

    , Pali
    Pali district
    Pali District is a district of the state of Rajasthan in western India. The town of Pali is the district headquarters.-History:...

    , Sirohi
    Sirohi district
    Sirohi District is a district of Rajasthan state in western India. The town of Sirohi is the district headquarters.As of 2011 it is the third least populous district of Rajasthan , after Jaisalmer and Pratapgarh.-Demographics:...

    .
  • Kota Division: Baran
    Baran district
    Baran District is a district of the state of Rajasthan in western India. The town of Baran is the district headquarters.The district has an area of 6955.4 km², and a population of 1,021,653...

    , Bundi
    Bundi district
    Bundi District is a district of the state of Rajasthan in western India. The town of Bundi is the district headquarters. It has an area of 5,550 km² and a population of 88,273...

    , Jhalawar
    Jhalawar district
    Jhalawar district is one of the 33 districts of Rajasthan state in western India. The district is bounded on the northwest by Kota district, on the northeast by Baran district, on the east by Guna district of Madhya Pradesh state, on the south by Rajgarh and Shajapur districts of Madhya Pradesh...

    , Kota
    Kota district
    Kota District is a district of the state of Rajasthan in western India. The city of Kota is the administrative headquarters of the district.During the period around 12th century AD, Rao Deva,a Hada Chieftain conquered the territory and founded Bundi and Hadoti...

    .
  • Udaipur Division: Banswara
    Banswara district
    Banswara District has an area of 5,037 km², 1.47% of Rajasthan state, India. The city of Banswara is the district headquarters. It is bounded on the north by Udaipur District, on the northeast by Chittorgarh District, on the east and southeast by Madhya Pradesh state, on the southwest by...

    , Chittorgarh
    Chittorgarh district
    Chittorgarh District is a district of Rajasthan state in western India. The historic city of Chittorgarh is the administrative headquarters of the district....

    , Pratapgarh
    Pratapgarh district (Rajasthan)
    Pratapgarh district is the 33rd district of Rajasthan, created on 26 January 2008. It is a part of Udaipur Division and has been carved out from the erstwhile tehsils of Chittorgarh, Udaipur and Banswara districts...

    , Dungarpur
    Dungarpur district
    Dungarpur District is a district of the state of Rajasthan in western India. The town of Dungarpur is the district headquarters.-Geography:Dungarpur lies in 23° 8' N latitude and 73° 7' E longitude. The district has an area of 3,770 km². The district is roughly triangular in shape...

    , Udaipur
    Udaipur district
    Udaipur District is one of the 33 districts of Rajasthan state in western India. The historic city of Udaipur is the administrative headquarters of the district....

    , Rajsamand

Demographics

Rajasthan has a mainly Rajasthani
Rajasthani people
Rajasthani people are the native inhabitants of Rajasthan region of India. They form an ethnic group which is a result of assimilation of Scytho-Dravidian, Aryo-Dravidian, Indo-Aryan, Indo-Scythian, Indo-Greeks, Indo-Iranians and Austro-Asiatic ancestries...

 population. Hindus account for 88.8% of the population. Muslims make up 8.5%, Sikhs 1.4% and Jains
Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state...

 1.2% of the population. The state of Rajasthan is also populated by Sindhis
Sindhi people
Sindhis are a Sindhi speaking socio-ethnic group of people originating from Sindh, a province Formerly of British India, now in Pakistan. Today Sindhis that live in Pakistan belong to various religious denominations including Islam, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Christianity...

, who came to Rajasthan from Sindh province (now in Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

) during the India-Pakistan separation in 1947.

The mother tongue of the majority of people in Rajasthan is Rajasthani
Rajasthani language
Rajasthani Rajasthani Rajasthani (Devanagari: , Perso-Arabic: is a language of the Indo-Aryan languages family. It is spoken by 50 million people in Rajasthan and other states of India and in some areas of Pakistan. The number of speakers may be up to 80 million worldwide...

. Rajasthani and Hindi
Hindi
Standard Hindi, or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi, also known as Manak Hindi , High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, and Literary Hindi, is a standardized and sanskritized register of the Hindustani language derived from the Khariboli dialect of Delhi...

 are the most widely used languages in Rajasthan. Rajasthani is used as a medium of instruction, along with Hindi and English, in some schools. Some other languages used in Rajasthan are Gujarati
Gujarati language
Gujarati is an Indo-Aryan language, and part of the greater Indo-European language family. It is derived from a language called Old Gujarati which is the ancestor language of the modern Gujarati and Rajasthani languages...

, Sindhi
Sindhi language
Sindhi is the language of the Sindh region of Pakistan that is spoken by the Sindhi people. In India, it is among 22 constitutionally recognized languages, where Sindhis are a sizeable minority. It is spoken by 53,410,910 people in Pakistan, according to the national government's Statistics Division...

 and Punjabi
Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region . For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language...

.

Education

During recent years, Rajasthan has made significant progress in the area of education. The state government has been making sustained efforts to improve the educational standard. In recent decades, the literacy
Literacy
Literacy has traditionally been described as the ability to read for knowledge, write coherently and think critically about printed material.Literacy represents the lifelong, intellectual process of gaining meaning from print...

 rate of Rajasthan has increased significantly. In 1991, the state's literacy rate was only 38.55% (54.99% male and 20.44% female). In 2001, the literacy rate increased to 60.41% (75.70% male and 43.85% female). This was the highest leap in the percentage of literacy recorded in India (the rise in female literacy being 23%). At the Census 2011, Rajasthan had a literacy rate of 67.06% (80.51% male and 52.66% female). Although Rajasthan's literacy rate is below the national average of 74.04% and although its female literacy rate is the lowest in the country (closely followed by Bihar at 53.33%), the state has been praised for its efforts and achievements in raising both male and female literacy rates.

Rajasthan has nine universities and more than two hundred and fifty colleges, fifty five thousand primary and seven thousand four hundred secondary schools. There are forty-one engineering colleges with an annual enrollment of about 11,500 students. The state has twenty-three polytechnics and one-hundred and fifty-two Industrial Training Institute (ITIs) that impart vocational training to the students.

Flora and fauna

Though a large percentage of the total area is desert, and even though there is little forest cover, Rajasthan has a rich and varied flora and fauna. The natural vegetation is classed as Northern Desert Thorn Forest (Champion 1936). These occur in small clumps scattered in a more or less open forms. Density and size of patches increase from west to east following the increase in rainfall.

Some wildlife
Wildlife
Wildlife includes all non-domesticated plants, animals and other organisms. Domesticating wild plant and animal species for human benefit has occurred many times all over the planet, and has a major impact on the environment, both positive and negative....

 species, which are fast vanishing in other parts of India, are found in the desert in large numbers such as the Great Indian Bustard
Great Indian Bustard
The Great Indian Bustard or Indian Bustard is a bustard found in India and the adjoining regions of Pakistan. A large bird with a horizontal body and long bare legs giving it an ostrich like appearance, this bird is among the heaviest of the flying birds...

 (Ardeotis nigriceps), the Blackbuck
Blackbuck
Blackbuck is a species of antelope native to the Indian subcontinent. Their range decreased sharply during the 20th century. Since 2003, the IUCN lists the species as near threatened....

 (Antilope cervicapra), the Indian Gazelle (Gazella bennettii) and the Indian Wild Ass
Indian Wild Ass
The Indian wild ass also called khur, is a subspecies of the Onager native to Southern Asia.-Description:The Indian wild ass, as with most other Asian wild ass subspecies, is quite different from the African species. The coat is usually sandy, but varies from reddish grey, fawn, to pale chestnut...

.

The Desert National Park
Desert National Park
Desert National Park, Rajasthan, India, is situated in the west Indian state of Rajasthan near the town of Jaisalmer. This is one of the largest national parks, covering an area of 3162 km². The Desert National Park is an excellent example of the ecosystem of the Thar Desert. Sand dunes form...

, Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer
Jaysalmer , nicknamed "The Golden City", is a town in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is located west from the state capital Jaipur. It was once known as Jaisalmer state. The town stands on a ridge of yellowish sandstone, crowned by a fort, which contains the palace and several ornate Jain...

, spread over an area of 3162 km², is an excellent example of the ecosystem
Ecosystem
An ecosystem is a biological environment consisting of all the organisms living in a particular area, as well as all the nonliving , physical components of the environment with which the organisms interact, such as air, soil, water and sunlight....

 of the Thar Desert, and its diverse fauna. Great Indian Bustard, Blackbuck, chinkara, desert fox, Bengal fox, wolf, desert cat etc. can be easily seen here. Seashells and massive fossilized tree trunks in this park record the geological history of the desert. The region is a haven for migratory
Bird migration
Bird migration is the regular seasonal journey undertaken by many species of birds. Bird movements include those made in response to changes in food availability, habitat or weather. Sometimes, journeys are not termed "true migration" because they are irregular or in only one direction...

 and resident birds of the desert. One can see many eagle
Eagle
Eagles are members of the bird family Accipitridae, and belong to several genera which are not necessarily closely related to each other. Most of the more than 60 species occur in Eurasia and Africa. Outside this area, just two species can be found in the United States and Canada, nine more in...

s, harriers
Harrier (bird)
A harrier is any of the several species of diurnal hawks forming the Circinae sub-family of the Accipitridae family of birds of prey. Harriers characteristically hunt by flying low over open ground, feeding on small mammals, reptiles, or birds....

, falcon
Falcon
A falcon is any species of raptor in the genus Falco. The genus contains 37 species, widely distributed throughout Europe, Asia, and North America....

s, buzzard
Buzzard
A buzzard is one of several large birds, but there are a number of meanings as detailed below.-Old World:In the Old World Buzzard can mean:* One of several medium-sized, wide-ranging raptors with a robust body and broad wings....

s, kestrel
Kestrel
The name kestrel, is given to several different members of the falcon genus, Falco. Kestrels are most easily distinguished by their typical hunting behaviour which is to hover at a height of around over open country and swoop down on prey, usually small mammals, lizards or large insects...

 and vulture
Vulture
Vulture is the name given to two groups of convergently evolved scavenging birds, the New World Vultures including the well-known Californian and Andean Condors, and the Old World Vultures including the birds which are seen scavenging on carcasses of dead animals on African plains...

s. Short-toed Eagle
Short-toed Eagle
The Short-toed Snake Eagle also known as Short-toed Eagle, is a medium-sized bird of prey in the family Accipitridae which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as kites, buzzards and harriers.-Range and habitat:...

s (Circaetus gallicus), Tawny Eagle
Tawny Eagle
The Tawny Eagle is a large bird of prey. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. It was once considered to be closely related to the migratory Steppe Eagle, Aquila nipalensis, and the two forms have previously been treated as conspecific...

s (Aquila rapax), Spotted Eagles (Aquila clanga), Laggar Falcon
Laggar Falcon
The Laggar Falcon is a mid-sized bird of prey which occurs in the Indian subcontinent from extreme south-east Iran, south-east Afghanistan, Pakistan, through India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and north-west Myanmar....

s (Falco jugger) and kestrels are the commonest of these.

The Ranthambore National Park
Ranthambore National Park
Ranthambore National Park or Ranthambhore National Park or simply Ranthambhore is one of the largest national parks in northern India. It is situated in Sawai Madhopur district of southeastern Rajasthan, about 180 km south east of Jaipur, which is also the nearest airport...

 located in Sawai Madhopur
Sawai Madhopur
Sawai Madhopur is a city and a municipality in Sawai Madhopur District in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is the administrative headquarters of Sawai Madhopur District....

, is one of the finest Tiger Reserves in the Country which became a part of Project Tiger
Project Tiger
Project Tiger was launched in 1972 in India. The project aims at ensuring a viable population of tigers in their natural habitats and preserving areas of biological importance as a natural heritage for the people. The selection of areas for the reserves represented as close as possible the...

 in 1973.

The Sariska Tiger Reserve
Sariska Tiger Reserve
The Sariska Tiger Reserve is a national park in India located in the Alwar district of the state of Rajasthan. The topography of Sariska supports scrub-thorn arid forests, dry deciduous forests, rocks and grasses. This area was a hunting preserve of the erstwhile Alwar state and it was declared a...

 located in Alwar district, 200 km from Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

 and 107 km from Jaipur
covers an area of approximately 800 km2.The area was declared a National Park in 1979.

Tal Chhapar Sanctuary
Tal Chhapar Sanctuary
Tal Chhapar Sanctuary is a sanctuary located in the Churu district of Northwestern Rajasthan in the Shekhawati region of India. It is 210 km from Jaipur and situated on road from Ratangarh to Sujangarh. The Tal Chappar sanctuary lies in the Sujangarh Tehsil of Churu District...

 is a very small sanctuary in Sujangarh, Churu District
Churu district
Churu is a district of Rajasthan state of western India. The town of Churu is the administrative headquarters of the district.Churu lies in the Jangladesh region of northern Rajasthan...

, 210 km from Jaipur
Jaipur
Jaipur , also popularly known as the Pink City, is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan. Founded on 18 November 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber, the city today has a population of more than 3.1 million....

, in the Shekhawati
Shekhawati
Shekhawati is a semi-arid historical region located in the northeast part of Rajasthan, India got its name from Shekhawat Rajputs....

 region. This sanctuary is home to a large population of graceful Blackbuck. Desert Fox
Desert fox
-Animals:*Another name for the Fennec Fox*Common name of Vulpes vulpes pusilla, a subspecies of the Red Fox that is found in the vicinity of the Thar Desert.-Games:*The Desert Fox, a 1981 board wargame published in Strategy & Tactics magazine...

 and desert cat can also be spotted along with typical avifauna
Bird
Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic , egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Around 10,000 living species and 188 families makes them the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from...

 such as partridge
Partridge
Partridges are birds in the pheasant family, Phasianidae. They are a non-migratory Old World group.These are medium-sized birds, intermediate between the larger pheasants and the smaller quails. Partridges are native to Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East...

 and sand grouse.

Wildlife

Rajasthan is also noted for National Parks and Wildlife
Wildlife
Wildlife includes all non-domesticated plants, animals and other organisms. Domesticating wild plant and animal species for human benefit has occurred many times all over the planet, and has a major impact on the environment, both positive and negative....

 Sanctuaries. There are four national park and wildlife sanctuaries named the Keoladeo National Park
Keoladeo National Park
The Keoladeo National Park or Keoladeo Ghana National Park formerly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India is a famous avifauna sanctuary that plays host to thousands of birds especially during the winter season. Over 230 species of birds are known to have made the...

 of Bharatpur
Bharatpur, India
Bharatpur is a city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was founded by Maharaja Suraj Mal in 1733. Located in the Brij region, Bharatpur was once an impregnable, well-planned and well-fortified city, and the capital of Jat kingdom ruled by Sinsinwar Maharajas.The trio of Bharatpur, Deeg and...

, Sariska Tiger Reserve
Sariska Tiger Reserve
The Sariska Tiger Reserve is a national park in India located in the Alwar district of the state of Rajasthan. The topography of Sariska supports scrub-thorn arid forests, dry deciduous forests, rocks and grasses. This area was a hunting preserve of the erstwhile Alwar state and it was declared a...

 of Alwar, Ranthambore National Park
Ranthambore National Park
Ranthambore National Park or Ranthambhore National Park or simply Ranthambhore is one of the largest national parks in northern India. It is situated in Sawai Madhopur district of southeastern Rajasthan, about 180 km south east of Jaipur, which is also the nearest airport...

 of Sawai Madhopur, and Desert National Park
Desert National Park
Desert National Park, Rajasthan, India, is situated in the west Indian state of Rajasthan near the town of Jaisalmer. This is one of the largest national parks, covering an area of 3162 km². The Desert National Park is an excellent example of the ecosystem of the Thar Desert. Sand dunes form...

 of Jaisalmer.

Ranthambore National Park and Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary are both known worldwide for their tiger population and considered by both wilderness lovers and photographers as the best places in India to spot tigers. At one point, due to poaching and negligence, tigers became extinct here, but recently 5 tigers have been shifted here . Prominent among the wildlife sanctuaries are Mount Abu Sanctuary, Bhensrod Garh Sanctuary, Darrah Sanctuary
Darrah National Park
Darrah National Park in Rajasthan, India is a national park established in 2004 consisting of three wildlife sanctuaries in Rajasthan - Darrah WLS, Chambal WLS and Jaswant Sagar WLS. The national park contains large tracts of forests formerly part of the Maharaja of Kota's hunting grounds...

, Jaisamand Sanctuary, Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary
Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary
Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is in the Rajsamand District of Rajasthan state in western India and surrounds the Kumbhalgarh fortress and covers an area of 578 km²...

, Jawahar Sagar sanctuary and Sita Mata Wildlife Sanctuary.

There are a variety of wildlife species in Rajasthan, notably including the apex predator
Apex predator
Apex predators are predators that have no predators of their own, residing at the top of their food chain. Zoologists define predation as the killing and consumption of another organism...

 Caracal
Caracal
The caracal is a fiercely territorial medium-sized cat ranging over Western Asia, South Asia and Africa.The word caracal comes from the Turkish word "karakulak", meaning "black ear". In North India and Pakistan, the caracal is locally known as syahgosh or shyahgosh, which is a Persian term...

, Caracal caracal.

Transport

Rajasthan is connected by many national highways. Most renowned being NH 8, which is India's first 4–8 lane highway. Rajasthan also has an inter-city surface transport system both in terms of railways and bus network. All chief cities are connected by air, rail and road.

By Air: There are three main airports at Rajasthan- Jaipur International Airport, Udaipur Airport
Udaipur Airport
Udaipur Airport or Maharana Pratap Airport or Dabok Airport is the airport at Udaipur, Rajasthan, India. It is situated east of Udaipur....

, and Jodhpur Airport
Jodhpur Airport
-External links:*...

. These airports connect Rajasthan with the major cities of India such as Delhi and Mumbai. There are two other airports in Kota and Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer Airport
Jaisalmer Airport is located at Jaisalmer in the Rajashthan province of India.Jaisalmer Airport is primarily an Indian Air Force base. The airport has a single runway of 9,000 ft in length and 150 ft in width.-Airlines and destinations:...

, but are not open for commercial/civilian flights yet.

By Rail: Rajasthan is connected with the main cities of India by rail. Jaipur, Kota, Bikaner, Ajmer, Udaipur and Jodhpur are the principal railway stations in Rajasthan. Kota City is the only Electrified Section served by three Rajdhani Expresses and trains to all major cities of India.

By Road: Rajasthan is well connected to the main cities of the country including Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

, Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad also known as Karnavati is the largest city in Gujarat, India. It is the former capital of Gujarat and is also the judicial capital of Gujarat as the Gujarat High Court has its seat in Ahmedabad...

 and Indore
Indore
Indore is one of the major city in India, the largest city and commercial center of the state of Madhya Pradesh in central India. Indore is located 190 km west of the state capital Bhopal. According to the 2011 Indian census, Indore city has a population of 1,960,631...

 by State and National Highways and served by Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC) and Private operators.

Statistics

  • Population:68.6 million (2011 Census, estimated at more than 68 million now)
  • Cities and Towns: 222
  • Major cities: Jaipur
    Jaipur
    Jaipur , also popularly known as the Pink City, is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan. Founded on 18 November 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber, the city today has a population of more than 3.1 million....

    , Jodhpur
    Jodhpur
    Jodhpur , is the second largest city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is located west from the state capital, Jaipur and from the city of Ajmer. It was formerly the seat of a princely state of the same name, the capital of the kingdom known as Marwar...

    , Kota
    Kota, Rajasthan
    Kota , formerly known as Kotah, is a city in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan. It is located south of state capital, Jaipur. Situated on the banks of Chambal River, the city is the trade centre for an area in which millet, wheat, rice, pulses, coriander and oilseeds are grown; industries...

    , Udaipur
    Udaipur
    Udaipur , also known as the City of Lakes, is a city, a Municipal Council and the administrative headquarters of the Udaipur district in the state of Rajasthan in western India. It is located southwest of the state capital, Jaipur, west of Kota, and northeast from Ahmedabad...

    , Ajmer
    Ajmer
    Ajmer , formerly written as Ajmere, is a city in Ajmer District in Rajasthan state in India. Ajmer has a population of around 800,000 , and is located west of the Rajasthan state capital Jaipur, 200 km from Jodhpur, 274 km from Udaipur, 439 km from Jaisalmer, and 391 km from...

    , Bikaner Bharatpur
    Bharatpur, India
    Bharatpur is a city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was founded by Maharaja Suraj Mal in 1733. Located in the Brij region, Bharatpur was once an impregnable, well-planned and well-fortified city, and the capital of Jat kingdom ruled by Sinsinwar Maharajas.The trio of Bharatpur, Deeg and...

    , Alwar, Bhilwara
    Bhilwara
    Bhilwara is the city in Mewar region of Rajasthan, India. The Cloth & Industrial city has its own uniqueness which makes it as a special district in Rajasthan.Bhilwara "The City of Cloth Culture & Calmness"- History :...

    , Sri Ganganagar, Sikar
    Sikar
    Sikar is a city located in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan state in India. It is the administrative headquarter of Sikar District. Sikar is a historical city and contains many old Havelis which are a huge tourist attraction. The best way to reach the city is to use road transport from Jaipur...

     and Hanumangarh
    Hanumangarh
    Hanumangarh is a city in northern Rajasthan state in western India, situated on the banks of the river Ghaggar, located about 400 km from Delhi. It is the administrative seat of Hanumangarh District...

    .
  • Roads: 1,51,914 km. (8,798 km National Highway)
  • National highways crossing Rajasthan: Delhi-Ahmedabad, Agra-Bikaner, Jaipur-Bhopal, Bhatinda-Kandla, Shivpuri-Kota, Kota-Udaipur and Pali-Ambala.
  • Climate: Generally dry with monsoon during July–August
  • Districts: 33
  • Languages: English and Hindi commonly used, as well as indigenous Rajasthani languages, Braj Bhasha etc.
  • Literacy: 67.063%(According to Census2011)

NH 71B is the Smallest in Rajasthan

See also

  • Districts of Rajasthan
    Districts of Rajasthan
    The Indian state of Rajasthan is divided into 33 districts for administrative purposes. The responsibilities of district management are carried out by a number of All-India officials and a number of state-appointed officials...

  • Kathputli (Puppet)
  • Keoladeo National Park
    Keoladeo National Park
    The Keoladeo National Park or Keoladeo Ghana National Park formerly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India is a famous avifauna sanctuary that plays host to thousands of birds especially during the winter season. Over 230 species of birds are known to have made the...

  • List of people from Rajasthan
  • Marwaris
    Marwaris
    Marwari or Marwadi or Rajasthani people are Indian ethnic group, that inhabit the Rajasthan region of India. Their language Rajasthani is a part of the western group of Indo-Aryan languages....

  • Rajasthani people
    Rajasthani people
    Rajasthani people are the native inhabitants of Rajasthan region of India. They form an ethnic group which is a result of assimilation of Scytho-Dravidian, Aryo-Dravidian, Indo-Aryan, Indo-Scythian, Indo-Greeks, Indo-Iranians and Austro-Asiatic ancestries...

  • Rajasthani languages
  • Ranthambore National Park
    Ranthambore National Park
    Ranthambore National Park or Ranthambhore National Park or simply Ranthambhore is one of the largest national parks in northern India. It is situated in Sawai Madhopur district of southeastern Rajasthan, about 180 km south east of Jaipur, which is also the nearest airport...

  • Sariska Tiger Reserve
    Sariska Tiger Reserve
    The Sariska Tiger Reserve is a national park in India located in the Alwar district of the state of Rajasthan. The topography of Sariska supports scrub-thorn arid forests, dry deciduous forests, rocks and grasses. This area was a hunting preserve of the erstwhile Alwar state and it was declared a...



External links

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